2 Steps: How to be Resilient in Recovery
We all set goals. We all work toward goals. We build today and assume that tomorrow everything you built today will be there waiting untouched. We never plan for the loss of everything or the inevitable unexpected changes in life. Perfection is not the way it works. I've learned this in sobriety. Actually, perfection is NEVER the way it works. Never has been. Never will be.
I used to thrive on tomorrow: save the money, keep the outfit in the closet for the perfect occasion, invest emotionally in my hopes and dreams, but I never accepted the key to happiness and growth is the ability to be disappointed and bounce back. Resilience.
I've learned resilience as if it is a skill like typing. I was not resilient before I started my sober life in June of last year. Disappointment would always send my life into a screeching halt, into stagnation where the same problems festered for years with no resolve. I would never change direction. I would always move forward with the same man, the same house, the same job, the same problems. Fix the problems so you can be happy was my motto. I set my goals and never let go of them until they were achieved. When I do this....I will do this...then it will be time to enjoy life... We all see how that worked out. I was stagnant in addiction with goals not achieved. How have I developed resilience?
Step one: I stopped squashing disappointment with chemicals like wine and Xanax. I never question whether or not alcohol will be a solution to any frustration. It's not.
Step two: I ask myself: How easily am I bouncing back after this disappointment? How do I figure out what to do next when I am unsure of what I am doing? Can I handle change?
Just asking myself these questions helps me put my problems into perspective. It helps me brainstorm how to be resilient versus how to control the situation causing frustration. When happiness is related to control over the uncontrollable (others, unexpected events, nature, etc.)...I can never be happy. My happiness lies in my resilience. My ability to say c'est la vie and bounce back. My ability to live one day at a time...
Learn to be resilient. Learn to be happy. World's. Problems. Solved. I should charge for this sh*t.